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January 30 Reflections

I haven’t written in a while. We are were 15 years overdue for new avalanche beacons. Our beacons were so old they didn’t work with my son’s beacon. And if Lisa get’s one, it will also be the new frequency, which we didn’t have. I bought two of the BCA Tracker 2 beacons  for me and Sue. Those were $350 each.

I lost my latest pocket camera…that waterproof Panasonic. I hated the quality of that thing from day one. At 100% in Photoshop the pixels looked horrible. I shot a few photos in Vantage that were badly burned out in the highlights, and plugged in the shadows. Without raw, you can’t fix it. I had a bad attitude about the Panasonic and sort of lost track of it. It may have fell off my rack, or got left in someones car. I’ve looked all over the house and garage for it.

Lisa has bought tickets for a one month trip to Europe with her cousin Pam, who wanted one last blow out adventure before starting medical school. Lisa is too much of a penny pincher to buy a nice camera. I sort of needed a portable camera to carry up hard climbs, and to carry when I don’t want to haul my big DSLR. Just going to work and the gym it’s nice to have a decent camera for unexpected moments of beauty.

Nothing can replace a DSLR, but a camera that can pinch hit is nice. I’d heard about the Sony RX100, but didn’t believe the hype. Still, I kept thinking about it, and reading up on it from time to time. Saturday I asked Lisa if she would pay for half of it. I offered to let her take it to Europe so she could get some decent photos, and then I would buy out her half when she returned.

Or that’s the plan anyway. I’ve been playing with it and the hype is actually true. It takes lovely 20meg RAW files that compare favorably with my Canon 7D. Obviously it can’t compete on really difficult shooting, the sensor and glass are simply too small, it can’t overcome the rules of physics. But for well lit scenes it shoots pictures that are quite close to my DSRL. I mean so close I’d have to spend some serious time pixel peeping to find the differences.

I’ve not done a true photo test comparison. But trust me, I done my share of pixel peeping, and the Sony RX100 holds up fine. I can’t wait to do some shooting in bright light. Everything has been either indoors, or rainy winter light.

As the old saying goes, “the best camera is the one you have with you”. When I have my DSLR I love it, but it’s so big and heavy I leave it home a lot. Now that I have  a decent pocket camera, I can more easily shoot casual photos around town, and in places where it is awkward to be the geek with the big camera. Two years from now I will probably hate it…but maybe not. I still have my 5 year old Canon SD1100. And it still takes decent pictures…if a bit marginal. I bent the lens on Easter Overhang. It hangs now and then. But the pictures are useable, if not pretty.

We are changing and improving our program in the spring. A lot of my classes will either change, or go away. We have removed Illustrator 2 and Photoshop 2, as will as Dreamweaver and Flash 2 and 3. We also got rid of drawing and 3D. The media program will be all video all the time. I’ve started shooting more video again, especially after realizing I’d forgotten it all in just 6 months. I will try to post some images and video soon.

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Back at work after my winter break

I had an awesome trip to Jtree. I’m not going to post pictures here, it’s too much trouble. Rather, they are on my main website.

Since returning, I’ve been working at refining the painting in my back bedroom. I’m hoping I didn’t kill it. Sue didn’t like it when she first saw it down there, and she is a very good judge of what will appeal to a gallery. So I worked it over for a few hours, tweaking this, and taming the sky, which looked like a bad LSD flashback.

We are both still recovering from that trip. It was far too much driving for 2 people. I did it in 28 hours on the way down, but with two of us we shaved 4 hours off that. I was glad I didn’t mount the studded tires. There is no reason when the snow is only 1 hour of the whole trip. As Sue said, you just have to drive slow.